Considering that very few small businesses have the budget to hire fancy graphic designers, I completely understand that many of them produce their own marketing materials. In fact, I started working in marketing because of the experience I gained as a small business owner doing just that.
One of the most unfortunate mistakes that business owners make in doing their own marketing materials is using dated fonts and graphics, Fonts, just like everything else in our lives have changed drastically in style over the years. The best way to make yourself look like a mom and pop business? Use a dated font.
There are many fonts that look dated in certain contexts. Here are a few that i absolutely despise.
Lately it seems I'm seeing papyrus in the logos of hundreds of businesses, lawn care services, a marble company, health food stores. It is made to evoke the look of the Egyptian pyramids, its not fancy and it doesn't add to your look!
This font was created for use in text bubbles for comics in the 90s. Since then, its use has been prolific. Don't trust me? I am NOT the only one! Check out bancomicsans.com
I've seen Curlz MT on more logos than i can count, mostly for women's boutiques and anything related to children. It is hard to read and just isn't cute. My advice: pick something simpler. Your customers eyes will thank you.
Side note: Just because a font is old doesn't necessarily mean that its dated. I have a client whose logo is simply one of the oldest and most popular fonts ever. And guess what? It actually works.